January 8, 2021

Some people say that all the important lessons in life are taught in Kindergarten. Some say that you have to help babies starting earlier, at birth. I want to go further and say that if we want a healthy society, we need to start with prenatal care—the solution to health crises from obesity to gun violence starts with women’s health. Black and Native American women are two to three times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes than white women. We have a chance to start fixing this.

I am proud I was the first elected official in New York State to install a dedicated lactation station in our district office. As the father of six I watched my wife’s angst around breastfeeding after she returned to work. She and many women had to express milk in broom closets and in unsanitary bathrooms across New York City, even upscale offices with countless other amenities.

It is time to change our priorities to better support women. So I want to commend Senator Julia Salazar’s office for providing NYC Health + Hospitals/Woodhull with this grant. I look forward to joining her and the whole community in supporting this essential renovation project.